Operationalism as the Philosophy of Soviet Physics: The Philosophical Backgrounds of L. I. Mandelstam and His School

Synthese 124 (3):407-432 (2000)

Abstract

This article is dedicated to the philosophy ofscience which was developed by the outstanding Soviet physicist and leader of a powerful scientificcommunity, L. I. Mandelstam. It is shown that thisphilosophy can be summed up under the heading operationalism. A comparison with the paradigmaticoperationalism of Percy Bridgman is undertaken andthe German positivist roots of Mandelstam's philosophyare indicated. The final section reconstructs the principle ofexpedient idealization, the principle which was putforward by Mandelstam's disciples in the spirit of hisoperationalism to solve problems of the theory ofnon-linear oscillations.

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References found in this work

The Logic of Modern Physics.Percy Williams Bridgman - 1927 - New York, NY, USA: Arno Press.
The Nature of Physical Theory.P. W. Bridgman - 1936 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Operational Analysis.P. W. Bridgman - 1938 - Philosophy of Science 5 (2):114-131.
The Nature of Physical Theory.P. W. Bridgman - 1951 - Philosophy of Science 18 (3):271-271.

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Citations of this work

Mandelstam's Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics in Comparative Perspective.A. A. Pechenkin - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):265 – 284.
The Early Statistical Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics in the USA and USSR.Alexander Pechenkin - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (1):25-34.
The Early Statistical Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics in the USA and USSR.Alexander Pechenkin - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (1):25-34.

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